The Teacher In Alaska, Daily Racing Form, 1918-08-07


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THE TEACHER IN ALASKA Education in Alaska is not a matter of text hooks nor are its beneficiaries only children of school age The teachers in that far north region must have a wide range of knowledge extending from the A 15 Cs and agricultural to grading fox skins and raising reindeer They are not czars of swivel chairs who enforce rules with birch rods but doc ¬ tors missionaries parsons whose duties often neces ¬ sitate long dog sledge journeys in Arctic weather One teacher Will II Wilson ia charge of the school at Ugashik in his report to the Federal Bureau of Education says that in one of his relief expedi ¬ tions he was forced to spend three nights in a tent without stove or provisions I would have perished he said had it not been for the na ¬ tives and the dogs The natives furnished the common sense and the dogs the heat heatSo So far as the young Alaskans are concerned the report of the Bureau of Education would indicate that work among them has made considerable pro ¬ gress Their greatest advancement perhaps has been In the use of English Some of the teachers say that at first it was difficult to get children to sneak English because the old women of the villages ridiculed them so much The pupils are excellent Ja memory work but they are usually slow in arithmetic They like hygiene and they know the meaning of germs says a proud teacher Boys as well as girls learn to sew One teacher won the good will of the district for her school by teaching her pupils to knit and helping them to make gifts which were showered upon the adults at Christmas time timeOne One phase of the teachers duties is shown in a report from the Alaskan peninsula The medical work takes up a great deal of my time says the schoolmaster it is hard to refuse to go to the other villages when they ask for aid Recounting his travels last winter he said that lie went for medicine T 70 miles took a child 310 miles for treat ¬ ment of a fractured leg made thirtysix trips on medical calls covering a distance of 1080 miles and went sixty miles to a reindeer heard to treat a frozen boy The total distance travelled on these missions was 2070 miles milesThe The Bureau of Education has undertaken to de ¬ velop among the natives selfconfidence and ex ¬ perience in business affairs It encourages the es ¬ tablishment in native villages of eoowrative mer cantilo stores and many of these enterprises are now in successful operation The auditing of four com ¬ panies in southeastern Alaska showed that they had conducted a business of almost 97000 In the past year yearThe The bureau also is now transacting personal busi ¬ ness for the natives through an office at Seattle In this way they have been able to sell their furs ivory and whalebone to the highest bidder instead of to agents as in the past Their sale of furs through this source amounted in a ytar to more than 12000 12000The The raising of reindeer has been especially en ¬ couraged by the bureau The herds have shown an increase of 20 per cent notwithstanding the fact that 13144 deer were killed during the year What this industry represents to the native Alaskans may be judged from the fact that exclusive of the meat and hides which they used themselves they received from it an income of 7lr The bureau srcs in the extension of this industry relief for hundreds of natives in remote districts who are living in abject poverty uureached by civilizing la fluencuM The work of the forces for education among the natives of Alaska has perhaps been more marked in the last year than ever before The older na ¬ tives are beginning to have a more thorough appre ¬ ciation of the benefits which are accruing to them Young Alaska is taking to the new conditions with enthusiasm

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